*Every once in a while, I feel the need to write a snarky post. I started this one at 11:12am. It’s 8:21pm, and snark is what you’ll get.*
These Collects are killing me! Don’t get me wrong, I love the Collects of the Church Year. If I ever find myself as a solo priest somewhere (please God, no), I might even spend a year preaching and teaching on them; I love them that much, but c’mon this back to back thing is pretty dirty pool. Two weeks in a row telling us how to live our lives? I mean, didn’t discipleship go out of style in the 1960s?
At least last Sunday’s Collect had some wiggle room. We prayed that being “illumined in Word and Sacrament” we might go forth to shine the light of Christ that he might be “known, worshiped, and obeyed” in every corner of the globe. The wise preacher took their cue from the Presiding Bishop’s Christmas Letter and dove right into the book of made up quotes by the saints and told his congregation, “Saint Francis is famous for saying, ‘preach the Gospel at all times, when necessary use words.” He then went on to say that we are called not to feel guilty about not sharing our faith, but instead to just love our neighbor, which is so much easier. Members left feeling good that they give to the Red Cross and that the Church is no different than the Rotary Club, and everybody slept easily Sunday night.
Little do they know what awaits them this Sunday. The Prayer Book goes from preaching to meddling this week, suggesting, rather boldy, that perhaps we have to actually tell people about Jesus in addition to feeding the hungry and clothing the naked.
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Maybe there is more to being a Christian than writing checks and felling good about ourselves. Perhaps there is even more than making meals for the hungry on Thanksgiving or building houses for those in substandard living situations or finding shelter for the homeless. Maybe we are really called to share our story, to actually open our mouths and tell people about how Jesus came to change the world. I know that even I’m not the best at this. I get nervous. Sometimes, I get tired of fielding religion-based guilt in social events, and I wish I could tell people I was the assistant manager at the Corningware store instead of saying, “I’m a priest.” But that’s not what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. No, being a disciple means being willing to share the Good News of God’s great love for us.
Give me grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call to proclaim the Good News, and if you have some to spare, help me not be a jerk about it. Amen.